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Sound therapy – the ultimate natural home remedy.

It is well known that sound can be soothing, relaxing, and motivating. For tinnitus sufferers, it can also be the way to relief. If you are seeking a “natural remedy”, exercise caution if considering pills or treatments that seem too good to be true. Consider sound therapy instead.


Natural Tinnitus Remedies

Tinnitus sufferers may be curious about the plethora of "natural" over-the-counter (OTC) vitamins, herbs, oils, or pills. We receive many questions about these.

Concerns and Considerations about OTC Products:

Natural tinnitus remedies

According to the Mayo Clinic, there's little evidence that alternative medicine treatments work for tinnitus. Some may even be harmful.

  • Supplements, vitamins, and similar remedies are not regulated by the FDA the same way that pharmaceuticals and medical devices are. They are classified as "food", and therefore do not require the same rigorous testing and labeling as medications.
  • There are currently over 40 different tinnitus treatment products for sale. In total, these contain over 190 different ingredients. Some have just 1-2 ingredients, while others have more than 30. Most lack explanation as to exactly how these treat tinnitus.
  • The number of adverse events associated with taking such over the counter supplements is increasing. (A U.S. consumer who experiences a bad reaction to a supplement may report it to the FDA by calling (1-800-FDA-1088) or online via the FDA's adverse event system. Consult the FDA website to see whether a supplement has been subject to warnings, alerts or recalls.)
  • natural tinnitus remedy ingredients A look at the ingredients found in common over-the-counter tinnitus remedies is concerning. For example, some compounds included are known to be toxic or poisonous. Others, such as quinine, are known to actually cause tinnitus. Many are simply ineffective. It is virtually impossible to distinguish the quality of one remedy from another.
  • Pills may have a systemic effect (your whole body is subject to the effects of the pill). In addition to risk associated with ingredients, dosage, and interactions, one cannot know if these are intended for a fast release, or a slow release. Nor can one know how long it takes for the ingredients to clear the body. For topical (skin) application of material such as oils or things put into the ear, it is unclear how these can be absorbed by the skin to relieve tinnitus.
  • For patients who believe they have found relief using tinnitus supplements or tinnitus herbs, it is possible that they are experiencing what is known as a "placebo effect".

Sound Therapy:

Sound therapy is natural, has been used to help tinnitus patients for many years, and does not involve surgery or drugs. It is available in many forms, including sound machines, CDs, sounds embedded in hearing aids, therapy tones combined with music, or even just a fan or air conditioner to provide background noise. Some patients also try acupuncture, yoga, hypnotherapy, mindfulness/meditation, or relaxation therapy/stress reduction as natural management strategies.


Safety First: questions to ask before self-medicating with a "natural" pill:

  • What ingredients are in this pill? How much of each ingredient is included?
  • What adverse effects are associated with these ingredients?
  • Could there be any undeclared or deceptively labeled ingredients in this pill? Are you willing to accept that risk? Does the manufacturer provide product specifications for the identity, purity, strength, and composition of the pills?
  • Is the label written in a language you can understand?
  • What are the possible interactions between the different ingredients? What are the possible interactions with other medications you may be taking?
  • Who selected the ingredients and amounts? Does the manufacturer have a Medical Advisory Board of qualified medical doctors on staff?
  • What reference materials does the manufacturer provide? Are there documented safety and efficacy studies available? If yes, are they recent, or decades old? If you request reference materials, is the manufacturer willing to share them?
  • If the pill contains plant material, where were the plants grown? Have they been chemically treated, for example with pesticides or other chemicals?
  • Where were the pills, or their individual ingredients, produced and stored? Have they been processed in a clean environment and handled by workers following sanitary procedures? Have they been screened for contaminants?
  • What dosage is recommended, and why? For example, would a 130 pound person take the same dose as a person weighing 165, or 200 pounds? How is dosage determined? Can a pregnant or breast-feeding woman take these pills safely? How about a diabetic? Has this been tested and confirmed?
  • Are there any contraindications to taking these pills?

Always tell your audiologist if you are taking any medications, whether over-the-counter or prescribed. Some medications are known to contribute to tinnitus, so knowing what you are taking can help your audiologist to determine the possible cause of your tinnitus, and the best course of treatment for you.

questions to ask before self-medicating

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